I was trying to avoid Valentine’s Day, but then a chocolate heart appeared on my desk (work-related, not <3-related) and I was lured into the delicious chocolately world of February 14.

So in order celebrate it, sort of, I set up a smart playlist in iTunes and looked at all the songs I had with “love” somewhere in the title.

There’s an interesting mix of the sweet and sour – for every “Love Will Keep Us Together”, there’s a “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. It seems a healthy mix of full-on love songs and songs for times when love has been ripped from your life, cos the latter makes the former that extra bit sweeter, y’know?

Looking at play count, the most played was the Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love”. It was almost ruined by the squelchy guitar bit being used in a Mariah Carey song, but it rises above that. It’s just a cute little singy rappy song that is just as much about love of music as it is about boyfriend love, and that’s just fine with me.

w00da l0ve

Apparently it’s not actually about love, it’s just a cynical marketing ploy. Perhaps I’m immune to cynical marketing ploys, but the only thing I’ve bought (so far) today is coffee, a sandwich, a drink and a milkshake. Oh, and I bought a bus ticket. That must be it! Yes, those damn marketing people have manipulated me into patronising public transport on Valentines Day. I feel so used.

The mind control cult was good today. I’m trying to figure out how to describe the day’s activities without making it actually sound like a freaky mind control cult. I’m not sure if I can be done. But it was fun and revealed much.

I was joking with a friend of mine who’s also doing the course. He said that we might be being brainwashed into thinking that having a shitty job is ok. “I no longer desire a fulfilling career in the arts. I instead am happy to be a checkout operator.”

Last night I saw The WBC play (again) at Papa Jacks. It was really hot – I got all sweaty just standing around. It was one of those shows where the audience doesn’t really warm up until near the end, and then they were begging for more. I took a bunch of photos, so they’ll eventually end up somewhere on the interweb once I’ve got them off my camera.

There’s an anti-war march tomorrow (as there are all over the world). The flier I have says that it starts in QE2 Square. I’m not sure what that’s going to consist of considering that, uh, QE2 Square is currently fenced off under construction. Maybe the masses will gather outside the nearby Starbucks?

Stainless steel

Today I had to come up with five people I admire, and figure out why I admire them. I realised that while the five people I came up had admirable qualities, they also had equal parts that I didn’t admire. Yes, my heroes are arseholes.

One of the other people on the course listed a guy I went to school with as one of the people she admired. He was a cool, interested person back then and didn’t take his sunglasses off for the seventh form photo.

Walking home I saw a radio DJ walking the other way. He looks taller and skinnier and healthier than he looks in photos or on TV. He was listening to a Walkman, I was listening to a Walkman. I accidentally smile at him (it slipped!) and he smiled back. R@d!

I saw a wedding party drive past. Having 13 February as your wedding anniversary means celebrating that one day, then the next day celebrating Valentine’s day. So Valentines day will probably get pushed to the side because the couple will figure that there’s no point in doing flowers and dinner for two days in a row.

Valentine’s Day

It’s around this time of year (id est, a couple of weeks before Valentine’s day) that two things happen.

1. Companies remind people that it is a couple of weeks before Valentine’s day, so they had ought to buy something to show their loved one how much they love their loved one. Suggested gift ideas are things like flowers, greeting cards, chocolates, cuddly toys, jewellery (i.e. stuff that men give to women). I’m guessing that it’s mainly stuff that men give women because if you asked a bloke what he wanted for Valentine’s day his reply would probably be “a root” and no one really makes all that much money from that.

2. Single people get into cynical mode and start going on about how it’s really just an excuse for commercialism and that all how they feel sickened whenever they see lovely dovey couples in love being all snuggly wuggyly and holding hands etc. When someone says “You’re saying that because you’re jealous” the cynical single person then gets really depressed and doesn’t stop being depressed until February 15.

It’s funny how Valentine’s day causes such mixed emotions with people. We certainly don’t see the same sort of ruckus around, say, Arbour Day. Just imagine people being like “Well, no one planted a tree at my place, but I don’t really care anyway, it’s not like I wanted one, I mean, it would have probably been nice to have a little shrub or something, but yeah, it’s all environmental bullshit anyway…”

My own experience with Valentine’s day has been one of very non-involvement. Valentine’s are things that people give to other people. I neither give or receive. Rock on. Last Valentine’s Day I was ill with glandular fever and wuv was the last thing on my mind.

I think this may be because I am lacking the gene that causing appreciation of things like flowers, chocolates and stuffed animals. I’m happy being ambivalent on Valentines day.

So this year there will be commercial Valentines day, and there will be the cynical anti-Valentines day. And I’ll be somewhere else doing something else like planting a tree.